Read this: “Can you read this sentence?

Now read this: Ecnetnes siht daer uoy nac?

That second sentence doesn’t make any sense, does it?
It because you suddenly lost your ability to read? Or is it your inability to see a pattern?
You see reading is a “talent”. It’s not an inborn talent. It’s an acquired talent. And so when you see words in a certain sequence and shapes, you’re able to read the sentence; memorise it; even pass it on without any loss of information. And yet the second sentence seemed to fox you.

How about if I told you the second sentence contained exactly the same number of words?
In fact it’s the same sentence written backwards.
Can you read this sentence?
Ecnetnes siht daer uoy nac?

To read the sentence you had to chunk
Over time you’ve learned to chunk a bunch of things, and that’s what “talented” people do. They’re not necessarily smarter than you or me. They’re just chunking bigger sections and hence appear to be faster and smarter. So if you cook Indian food for instance, there are about five spices that go into anything. They are: turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala. Anyone who’s cooked Indian food for even short bursts knows these five spices as one unit. They don’t have to think about the spices individually. So that frees up their brain to add on other chunks.

What you see as talent, is just constant chunking.
This is why you can read a sentence like “Can you read this sentence?” in a second.
It’s because of an acquired talent.

That’s why you’re so quick.
And non-English speakers are so slow.

Now you know ๐Ÿ™‚


We all believe that most of us have in-born talents, right? So imagine you’re a dolphin and you learn to do what no dolphin has ever been seen doing before. No, not learn Photoshopโ€”but do something just as cool: blow perfect circles of bubbles underwater.

So what makes this cool?
This blowing of bubbles isn’t some inherent skill that dolphins were born with. They learned this skill and mostly it’s just the dolphins at Sea World that seem to have acquired this ability. Acquired is an important word to note in the previous sentence. It’s mostly the females that seem to pick up the skill. And it’s not known to occur anywhere else. The dolphins merely learned from each other, and keep perfecting their skills. Just like any child would learn skills and then get better at it over the years.

Dolphins blowing perfect bubbles? Better keep Photoshop away from them, eh?

See the video below

More good stuff at: http://www.psychotactics.com


Why You Lose Focusโ€”And How “Brain Maps” Play Their Role

I remember sitting in a queue at JFK airport in New York waiting to take off. As I sat in the plane, I could see our plane stuck behind about six or eight other planes. They were all waiting to take off. And as we waited the weather conditions changed, causing the planes to keep […]

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Why Concepts Fail (When They Should Be Working)

About six months ago, I downloaded an app that enabled me to relax. In a busy day, it puts you in a mild hypnotic state, and lets you rest for a while. Then twenty minutes later it gently wakes you up and you feel super refreshed. I tried this app and hey it worked when […]

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The Brain Audit 3.2 Book Photo Competiton

More photos of The Brain Audit 3.2. The Brain Audit Book and Super Cuatro are spotted in action. The adventures of Super Cuatro, The Brain Audit Super Hero. Click to view larger images and view the entire portfolio. On his way to the White House Flying to the White House At the White House with […]

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The Brain Audit 3.2 Book Photo Competiton Continues

The Brain Audit Book Photo Competition Continues…. Here are a few photos for USA and Canada. Iโ€™ve attached a few photos. Iโ€™m not sure which best shows what Iโ€™m trying to illustrate. Can you see the writing on the envelop that was used to send the book to me? I wanted to ask the โ€œrealโ€ […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 10

Here are a few more entries for The Brain Audit Book from around the world Much luck (to you and Sean… and me!) Alex Kuzelicki, Australia ———- If you haven’t made the Butter Chicken the recipe is on Page 113. And Yes! Sean can cook too!! Yummy stuff. This is the butter chicken on its […]

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The Brain Audit Photo Contest: Part 9

And the photos keep coming in for The Brain Audit competition. Today’s photos are from New Zealandย  and all the way from the Arctic Circle. It’s child’s play.. Martin Thompson, Auckland, New Zealand —————— I am sending the photo of The Brain Audit book, which travelled with me and a couple of friends 150 km […]

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The Brain Audit Photo Contest: Part 8

Here are a few more photos “Giants in their field” Peggy Gower, Near Chicago, Il, USA ——————– Here is Cuatro studying the Brain Audit at MIT…I actually took this picture at night. J ——————– And a few more from Milan These photos of The Brain Audit were taken in Milan’s orthopedic joint replacement surgeon in […]

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The Brain Audit Book Contest: Part 7

Here are a few photos from New Zealand And another one from Cornelia And the last one… PS. I had a lot of fun cutting, gluing etc. ๐Ÿ™‚ Cornelia Luethi,ย  Auckland, New Zealand ———————- Thought I had better not disclose where you go for coffee or you will both be inundated with fans J Steve […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 6

The Brain Audit Book makes its way to the UK, India, USA and The Netherlands. The Brain Audit Photo above isย  called, “Can’t See The Forest For The Trees!” And this one is called, “Air’s Thin Up Here.” Dwight Schwersensky, California, USA —————————— “If I had to keep just one book out of my entire […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 5

Today we have the Brain Audit Book photos from the US and Germany And another one And the last one… Perry Droast: Hanford, CA, USA โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€“ Never trust a black cat on a Friday… Heidi Dreher, Kolbingen in the South of Germany โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€“ >>Click to see the other Brain Audit Book Photos

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 4

The Brain Audit does make people outrageously happy ! Proof ! ย Noel (‘look what I have here’…Hee, hee, hee) trying to make me jealous with his copy of the Brain Audit during a Skype call. P.S. Postal strike in my region ! No kidding. Things should be back to normal on Thursday. Fingers crossed… I […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 3

Here are a few more Brain Audit Book photos from around the world… My current job contains a lot of travel so I seem to spend 1/2 my life in airports… and every time I collect my bags I smile to myself. So, this seemed only appropriate for my entry ๐Ÿ˜‰ I couldn’t actually find […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 2

And here are some more entries… Andy D’Silva at the airport with his red bag and The Brain Audit. I know this should be the first photo ๐Ÿ™‚ The last red bag has been taken off the conveyor belt but I think Andy has disappeared. Andy D’Silva: Toronto, Canada โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€“ I was lucky enough to […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 1

The entries for The Brain Audit Competition are pouring in. Over the next few days I will keep adding the photos. The Brain Audit: Sydney Australia Lance Scoular: The Savvy Navigator, Sydney, Australia ——————————————– Bob Janes: Brittany, NW France The Brain Audit at the end of the world (this area is Penn-ar-Bed in Breton, Finistere […]

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The Talent Code: Is there a code you can learn?

What’s talent got to do with insulation? (Photo Courtesy: Businessweek.com) So are we born with talent? Or is there a code? Of course there’s a code. And that code is embedded not in what you learn, but how that learning is insulated? Huh? Think of it as a pipe filled with water. Which one will […]

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How to Stop Self-Editing Articles

Write. Edit. Write. Edit. Edit. Edit. Write. Does this crazy self-editing sound familiar? If it doesn’t then you’re probably from Mars, because most of us without exception go through a self-edit phase when writing. And it’s not only when writing that we self-edit We self-edit when we’re walking. When you walk on gravel you walk […]

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Is Tiger Woods Naturally Talented?

You would think so, right? So let’s make Tiger Woods, Exhibit A. Let’s sit down with a coffee and 20 minutes and listen to Geoff Colvin talk about why Tiger is not a natural talent (as you thought after all). And that in fact, talent is just a “reduction of mistakes”. It’s on this blog. […]

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Rising above I.Q.

I could drone on about I.Q. Or you could do a bit of your own weekend reading on I.Q. (Note: Your parents, friends, teachers, colleagues won’t agree with you about this topic you’re about to read). http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/opinion/07kristof.html?_r=1 And the book he references ๐Ÿ™‚ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/books/review/Holt-t.html?pagewanted=all

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The Definition of Talent (According To Sean D’Souza)

You can be anything you want. There’s no such thing as talent. Talent is merely this: Elimination of mistakes. The fewer mistakes you make in anything, the more talented you are. So as individuals, we need to focus on making mistakes. And that’s the curse of our lives. Our schools are designed to prevent us […]

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So can you see if you’re blind?

How amazing is your brain? What if someone took away your eyes? Could you possibly see with your brain? Ha, ha, ha…judge for yourself. This video below is not a trick. He’s actually seeing with his brainโ€”the eyes you and I have are just tools. It’s the brain that does all the grunt work. On […]

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Why Kids “Can’t Draw”

Ok, so I’ve ranted about this, but I think Mo Willems has a fantastic angle. Here’s a brief take on Mo’s angle: Willems is obsessed with why adults don’t draw โ€” and he wants to do something about it. “One of the interesting things about cartooning and doodling and drawing,” Willems tells Michele Norris, “is […]

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Why ‘Non-Audio’ Learners Lose Out

You’ll often find people who say they don’t learn well via audio. That they need to read a transcript instead to understand something better. That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. And there are three reasons why. 1) The way in which we process audio separate from reading. 2) The way in which we ‘sit […]

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Application vs. Learning Mode

Did you know that your brain operates in two different modes when it’s going through a learning experience? A brain in learning mode is completely different from a brain in application mode. So how is it different? In the learning phase, the brain is able to take in a complete overview without needing to know […]

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What makes a person a super-genius?

Ok, so it’s a big question. Because there are loads of elements that make a person a super-genius. But there’s one thing that is guaranteed to stop you from becoming brilliant. That one thing is the inability to take feedback. Feedback as in brutal feedback Feedback as in things you don’t want to hear. Feedback […]

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The Brain That Changes Itself

Ok, I’m back after my extended ‘vacation’. And here’s a biggie: I’m amazed at this book. And if you’ve ever wondered about the factor of getting old (and stupid), or wondered how we learn (and unlearn stuff), then you need to read this book. I intend to take snippets of the information and put my […]

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Understanding the Rosetta Stone (And How It Affects How You Learn)

Do you know the story of the Rosetta Stone? You do, don’t you? Youย  know how archaeologists couldn’t make head or tail of hieroglyphics. And it’s not like they didn’t try. They just weren’t able to figure out what those nice little pictures on the Egyptian monuments really stood for. And then of course, in […]

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Brain on Break

Just 5 minutes drive from where we live. The splendour of Rangitoto – a now dormant volcano. Most people don’t take breaks. They see it as counter-productive. They’re wrong. Breaks, when planned, are what makes your work productive. And we plan our breaks every year, so our brains can boot down, and come back refreshed […]

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A prediction for the year 2012

You may not have heard of Paul Wolfe. You may never hear of Paul Wolfe. But someday soon Paul Wolfe will grow his business. And by the time we finish with the year 2012, Paul will be extremely successful. So what is this prediction based on? You see Paul doesn’t have many subscribers to his […]

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